Publication Date

Spring 2012

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts


Political and Justice Studies

First Advisor

Chelsea Haring, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Larry Levinson, Ph.D.

Third Advisor

Daniel McGuire, M.A.


After September 11, 2001, the United States law enforcement community found itself ill prepared to handle the range of responsibilities required in a nation under the threat of terrorism. Police organizations hastily assigned resources to help mitigate areas hit hard by the attack while dispersing investigative capital to prevent future strikes. A stark realization followed that exposed the challenges of coping with counter-terrorism while balancing finite resources aimed at traditional crime fighting. These added challenges led to the notion that American policing had entered a new era –Homeland Security. The following research explores the emergence of the new Homeland Security Era and its impact on state policing. More specifically, a case study of the Illinois State Police (ISP) coupled with a multi-state survey of state responses to this challenge further examines how such organizations have transformed their structures by bolstering their intelligence apparatus. This study further examines how state policing has been restructured to respond to changing demands and the changing context of current strategies state police organizations are utilizing in the Homeland Security Era. Using the example of the ISP, the study provides insight into what skills are needed for success in this new policing era. Consequently, this study will explore, first how the terrorist attacks have thrust policing into the new Homeland Security Era. Second, it will address how the events themselves have engendered the question for state law enforcement organizations to consider, including which style of policing best suits these organizations for carrying out their new homeland security mission. Lastly, the research will explore how politics did or did not play a role in the restructuring of the ISP in the new Homeland Security Era.